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23-24 NOVEMBER 2024



2019 Garden 20 - Orakei


Design Brief

This new and entirely rebuilt garden is only two years old. Originally there was a small flat lawn at the street that was dull and unwelcoming. The backyard pool and deck faced a plain expanse of lawn that was muddy and shaded in winter, and full of weeds and cracked in summer.

The design intent was to enhance the usage of all the outdoor spaces. Integrating the new garden with the existing rear deck was essential for a cohesive design. A key to achieving this is the concrete planter which intersects the old deck and extends across the new hoggin area. This space has been reimagined into something akin to a Mediterranean living area, with its backdrop of olive ‘El Greco’ hedging, limestone paths and perennial flower beds. Native New Zealand grasses, Chionochloa flavicans, miniature toetoe and Carex testacea, mingle with perennials, Salvia ‘Love and Wishes’ and Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ to create a haven for insects and birds.

A fire bowl acts as a gathering point and extends the use of the garden seasonally and into the night. The dividing wall behind the fire bowl adds a sense of interest in exploring what lies behind.

Privacy from the road above was also an important consideration. Carefully placed trees include the summer flowering crepe myrtle, Lagerstroemia indica, and the weeping peppermint tree, Agonis flexuosa. Once a little bigger, these will provide an overhead canopy and sense of enclosure to the area.

The new front garden creates a seamless connection to the streetscape and offers an interesting but subtle welcome. Clipped westringia balls and spring flowering Betchel’s crab apple provide year round structure.

The materials have been chosen to create clean lines with an element of the organic and vernacular – hoggin on the groundplane, formwork on the concrete walls, the rust effect of corten steel. The garden was built to high expectations by the craftspeople of Second Nature.


Back garden (excluding pool and decking)
Second Nature Gardens

Planting front and back
Louise Hanlon Garden Design


By the owner